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time when peril or even extermination is dreaded as impending over the Christian people; that by the arm of your royal mightiness, protection may be granted to the members of Him who has in His mercy allowed you to reach such a height of glory and pre-eminence, and has rendered you an invincible wall of defence against those who wished to impugn His name. In the first place, be it known to your serene highness how that the land of Jerusalem has been here buffeted by frequent and vexatious disputes on these matters, the special inheritance of Him who was crucified, and the place in which the mysteries were foretold of our salvation, and brought to a completion by the carrying out of that event, and of which He who comprehended all things in His death, by a peculiar privilege made it the scene; and how being now trampled under foot, and hemmed in by the pressure of a perfidious and most abominable race, it stands nodding to its downfall; and how, which God forbid, the Christian religion must thereby sustain irreparable loss. For Saladin, the most inhuman persecutor of that holy and fearful name, has now risen to such a pitch in the spirit of his fury, and is to such a degree putting forth all the might of his wickedness for the destruction of the people of the faithful, that, unless the vehement onset of his wickedness is checked as though by barriers placed in his path, he may entertain an assured hope and belief that Jordan will flow before his face, and that the land that was consecrated by the shedding of the vivifying blood, will be polluted by the contact of his most abominable superstitions, and the country which your glorious and noble predecessors, amid many labours and perils, rescued from the dominion of the unbelieving heathens, will once more be subjected to the accursed dominion of this most nefarious tyrant. In consequence, therefore, of the urgency of the necessity, and of the sorrows thus imminent, we have deemed it advisable, by these Apostolic letters, to entreat your mightiness, or rather with a palpitating heart to call upon you with the loudest voice, showing regard for the honor of Him who has set you upon high, and, in comparison with the name of the mighty ones who are on earth, has bestowed upon you a glorious name, in the earnestness of your pious zeal, to give your attention to the desolate state of the before-named land, and, to the end that, in those parts, the confusion of Him may be put an end to, who, in your behalf, submitted to be held in
derision in that self-Same land, to afford efficacious aid. Wherefore, following in the footsteps of your predecessors, by the aid of the Lord, let that land be preserved in the worship of the great God by means of your diligence, which they rescued from the jaws of the prince of darkness. In such straits of oppression it befits your highness to labour with the more earnest zeal, inasmuch as you are aware that the land is deprived of the protection of a king, and the powerful men have thought proper to centre all their hopes of defending it in the protection of your mightiness. And this your serene highness may be the better enabled to understand, from the fact that they have despatched to your excellency the chief men of that land and the mighty defenders thereof, namely, our venerable brother Heraclius, the Patriarch, and our dearly beloved son, the Master of the Hospital, that from their dignified presence you may be enabled to take under consideration the present state of affairs, and to see how great and extreme is the necessity, on account of which they have so long endured to be without protection; to the end that in person they might the more easily incline your devotedness to comply with their desires. Receive, therefore, the persons before-named with all kindness, as though sent to you by the Lord Himself, treat them in all things with that brotherly love which is their due, and show yourself ready to acquiesce in their requests, according as, having regard to their weight and their probity, you shall think them deserving of your grace and favour. And further, let your prudence call to mind, and with anxious meditation thereon ponder over those promises by which you have so often bound your highness as to undertaking the protection of the land so often named; and show yourself in this respect so wary and so zealous, that, at the terrible day of judgment your conscience may not accuse you, and the question put to you by that searching Judge who is not to be deceived, may not lead to your condemnation.”
After hearing these requests, our lord the king made answer that, God willing, all things would yet be well, and appointed a time for his answer, namely, the first Sunday in Lent, at London. Accordingly, on this day, 64 our lord the king, the Patriarch, the bishops, abbats, earls, and barons of the kingdom of England, William, king of Scotland, and his brother David, together with the earls and barons of his kingdom, met at
54 This council was held at Clerkenwell.
London, and after a conference had been held thereon with due deliberation, it pleased all that our lord the king should consult thereupon Philip, king of France, his liege lord; upon which the council breaking up, our lord the king gave to all his subjects, both clergy and laity, permission to assume the cross. ACcordingly, Baldwin, archbishop of Canterbury, Ranulph, justiciary of England, Walter, archbishop of Rouen, and Hugh, bishop of Durham, together with many others of the bishops from both sides of the sea, and nearly all the earls, barons, and knights of England, Normandy, Aquitaine, Brittany, Anjou, Maine, and Touraine, assumed the cross; at the period of the assumption of which a certain miraculous event took place.
For on a certain day, a woman who had secretly become pregnant, finding that the time of her labour was approaching, fled from the house of her father, in consequence of her wish to avoid being detected in her transgression; when behold! a mighty tempest of wind and rain overtook her in her flight, as she was wandering alone in the fields and begging the Lord for His assistance and a place of refuge. Upon finding that her prayers were not instantly listened to by the Lord, she fell into a fit of desperation, saying, "If thou, God, dost despise my prayers, then may the Devil succour me ;' immediately upon which the Devil made his appearance to her under the form of a young man, barefoot and girt up, as though for a journey, and said to the woman, “Follow me. passed along the road they met with a sheepfold in a field, on which the Devil ran before and got ready a fire in the sheepfold, and a seat made of fresh straw, upon which the woman followed him, and, entering the place, warmed herself before the fire. While so doing, she said, “I am thirsty, and am quite famished with hunger;" to which the Devil made answer,
Wait a little, and I will bring you bread and drink.” While he was gone (to fetch this], two men, who happened to be passing along the road, seeing a fire in the sheepfold, wondered what it could be, and coming nearer, entered the sheepfold; where, finding the pregnant woman lying down near the fire, they asked her who it was that had made the fire for her, to which she made answer,
“ The Devil.” On this they enquired of her where he was, when she replied, “I was hungry and thirsty, and he has gone to find me some victuals and drink.” On hearing this, they said to her, “ Have
faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in the glorious Virgin Mary, His mother, and they shall deliver you from the hand of the enemy; and be sure to enquire of him what shall come to pass;" after saying which, they went to a village that was near at hand, and related to the clergy and the people what they had seen and heard upon the road.
In the meantime, the Devil returned, and bringing with him bread and water, refreshed the woman; after which, stooping down, she gave birth to a male child, which the Devil taking up, performed the duties of midwife, and was warming it before the fire, when, lo! the priest of the village before-mentioned came to the sheepfold, armed with the Catholic faith, the cross, and holy water, and attended by the clergy and a great number of people. Finding that she was delivered, he was sprinkling the child, which the Devil was holding in his arms, with holy water, in the name of the holy and undivided Trinity, when the Devil, being utterly unable to endure it, took to flight, and, carrying the child away with him, appeared to them no more. On this, the woman, returning to herself, exclaimed, “Now do I know of a truth that the Lord hath delivered me from the hands of the enemy;" and she then related to them that she had been informed by the Devil, that, since the time when Jesus Christ prevailed over hell, there had not been so great sorrow or lamentation in hell as there was now, in consequence of the assumption of the cross : but, said she, his sorrow will be turned into joy, because 80 great will be the iniquities and offences of the Crusaders, that the Lord will blot them out of the Book of Life, and many of them, forsaking the religion of the cross, will become persecutors of the cross and of the name of Christ-a thing that afterwards proved to be the case.
Our lord the king next came to Windsor, and there, on the Lord's day on which is sung 55 “ Lætare, Jerusalem,” [“ Rejoice, O Jerusalem,"] which this year fell on the day before the calends of April, he dubbed his son John a knight, and immediately after sent him to Ireland, appointing him king thereof. In the meantime, a mighty earthquake was heard 56 throughout nearly the whole of England, such as had not been heard in that
56 The commencement of the introit on the Fourth Sunday in Lent.
66 The word is “auditus ;" at the present day we speak of feeling an earthquake, and, in general, not of hearing one.
land since the beginning of the world; for rocks were split asunder, houses of stone fell down, and the metropolitan church of Lincoln was rent from top to bottom. This earthquake took place on the day after Palm Sunday, that is to say, on the seventeenth day before the calends of May; and on the day after the said earthquake our lord the king of England, Heraclius, the Patriarch, and Hugh, bishop of Durham, with many of the principal men of England, crossed over between Dover and Witsand. After his arrival in Normandy, our lord the king of England raised a considerable army, and then sent word to his son Richard, earl of Poitou, who had fortified Poitou against him, and had taken prisoner his brother Geoffrey, earl of Brittany, that unless he delivered up to his mother Eleanor the whole of Poitou freely and quietly, he would visit him with à rod of iron, and war against him with all the power of his might. Upon receiving this command, the said Richard, ceasing all hostilities, delivered up Poitou to his mother, and, returning to his father, remained with him like an obedient son.
In the meantime, on the calends of May, being the day of the Apostles, Saint Philip and Saint James, about mid-day, a total eclipse of the sun was seen, which was followed by thunder and lightning, and a mighty tempest; from the effects of which men and animals perished, and many houses, being set on fire thereby, were burned to the ground. After this, Philip, king of France, and Henry, king of England, holding a conference as to giving aid to the land of Jerusalem, promised that they would afford it ample assistance both in men and money: but, for all this the before-named Patriarch cared but little, as he had been in hopes that he should be enabled to bring back with him, for the defence of the land of Jerusalem, the before-named king of England, or one of his sons, or else some other person high in authority ; but, being unable to effect this, he retired from the court in sorrow and confusion on his return to his country.
In the same year, Walter, the archbishop elect of Rouen, received the pall from pope Lucius, and immediately consecrated Gilbert de Glanville, who had been presented with the bishopric of Rochester by the king of England. In this year also, John, the king's son, coming into Ireland, was honorably received by John, the archbishop of Dublin, and the other